Last updated: 06:46 AM ET, Mon June 01 2015

Gambling in Paradise in St. Maarten

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | May 28, 2015

Gambling in Paradise in St. Maarten

Photos courtesy of Casino Royale.

Spending hard earned money on gambling is tough for some people to do even in some of most established places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  So when you make a trip somewhere like St. Maarten, do you dare pop that first $20 into a machine or down on a table? The quick answer here would be yes!  But if you take a good look at the scene and what is entailed, you will find out that you are actually better off gambling on “The Friendly Island” more than you would in some other more traditional locations.

The Scene

Saint Maarten / Sint Martin are home to more than ten casinos with a wide variety of table games and slot machines.  The Casino Royale is the largest on the island with 21,000 square feet of gaming space, 21 tables, and 410 slot machines available. They also manage three other casinos at the other Sonesta properties.  Atlantis World casinos runs four small casinos on the island and there is a smattering of others.

The Games

Gambling in the Islands in general is pretty similar to other places.  Obviously you will get your best selection of games in Las Vegas, but most of the main stays are here on the Island.  Roulette, Black-Jack, Three Card Poker, and Caribbean Stud Poker are all here.  Jack Schultz, the Assistant General Manager of Casino Royale that although there are three crap tables on the island, Casino Royale is home to, “the only every-night operating craps table on the island.”  You will find limits that run from $5-$500 in most places and there are tournaments throughout the week at different locations.   

Slot machines are aplenty and the Casino Royale has all of the newest including the only Sex and the City, Hangover, and Wheel of Fortune machines on the island.

There are Texas Hold’em tables throughout the island and there is even a stop by the World Poker Tour to the Casino Royale with the final table out beachside, so you know there is probably some good action to be had here. 

There is also sports betting on the island whether it is from an actual sports book or through kiosks.  Most casinos have an area to watch all the action in HD on flat screens.

Perks and Comps

Most of the casinos offer some sort of players club, and the biggest, Casino Royale’s club is one of the most rewarding.  The comp structure is up to 50 percent of theo for tables and up to 20 percent for slots. Slot players in addition to their 20 percent comps can also cash out their points-500=$5.00. One of the perks that you rarely see, even in Las Vegas, is the ability to get off- property comps, but players are able to do that at Casino Royale.

The Odds

Are the odds better in the Caribbean?  The quick answer is yes.  The truth is that table games are going to stay about the same with odds being what odds are going to be.  But the video poker has a hold of about one percent and the slots are at around a four percent hold.  In Vegas on the strip you will typically see the Video Poker machines around a three percent hold and the slots range anywhere from about 8 to 24 percent.

So take a trip down to beautiful St. Maarten and try your luck at a little gaming while you are at it.  There is a chance you could go home a big winner.  

Wait, hang on. You are gambling in one of the most beautiful places in the world?  Sounds like everyone is a winner.

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